Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für die Erforschung der Europäischen Aufklärung

Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg Siegel

Interdisciplinary Centre for European Enlightenment Studies

The IZEA was founded in 1990 as a central scientific institution of the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg. As a research institution for the history of culture and ideas, it explores the foundation of modern Western societies through the study of ideas and cultural patterns developed in the 18th century.

18th century studies

The research program includes research and publishing projects dedicated to a wide variety of themes, such as the history of universities, societies and communication; anthropology, aesthetics, culture and knowledge transfer, scholarly culture and literary forms of representation in the 18th century; the development of cultural patterns; the Enlightenment in global networks; and the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz.

Connected with the region's research institutions

The IZEA is located in the Red School, built in 1896, which was formerly the Higher School for Girls of the Francke Foundations. The IZEA houses a public library containing primary sources and research literature related to the Enlightenment in regional and European contexts. The Alexander von Humboldt Chair of Modern Written Culture and European Knowledge Transfer and the Immanuel-Kant-Forum also have their offices in the building.

Enlightenment studies in international networks

Thanks to its outstanding library, its publishing projects, its geographic proximity to important historic sites related to the Enlightenment (including extensive archives, libraries and art collections), and its partnerships with major cultural and scientific institutions,  the IZEA is now one of the most important international research institutes dedicated to the study of the Enlightenment, and is an essential meeting point for scientists from around the world.

Dessau-Wörlitz Commission

In the eighteenth century, the principality of Anhalt-Dessau was the stage of a reform movement which encompassed all aspects of life. Among other manifestations, the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz stood as a model of “practical Enlightenment”, and is since 2000 a World Cultural Heritage site of the UNESCO.

The Dessau-Wörlitz Commission for the study and maintenance of the Dessau-Wörlitz cultural site was founded in 1967 at the Martin-Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, under the auspices of the rector as well as of the mayor of Dessau-Roßlau, and is located at the IZEA since 2000. Its members are affiliates of the Dessau-Wörlitz cultural foundation, representatives of the public, as well as numerous scholars from very varied disciplines. The commission works towards the scholarly study of all the cultural aspects of Dessau-Wörlitz at the time of the Enlightenment and their inclusion in interdisciplinary research discussions. 

The annual conferences, with varying themes, are organised in various venues and are intended for researchers of the Enlightenment and the Garden as well as for the public.

Gallery

Vulkan Insel Stein
Kulturstiftung DessauWörlitz, Bildarchiv, Heinz Fräßdorf.
Kulturstiftung DessauWörlitz, Bildarchiv, Heinz Fräßdorf.
Kulturstiftung DessauWörlitz, Bildarchiv, Heinz Fräßdorf.
Kulturstiftung DessauWörlitz, Bildarchiv, Heinz Fräßdorf.
Gotisches Haus
Kulturstiftung DessauWörlitz, Bildarchiv, Heinz Fräßdorf.
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